I am: Shaun Belcher (alter ego Trailer Star)
I am based: Nottingham, England
I started: Too long ago!
I am influenced by: John Fahey, Â Howlin Wolf, Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart, Charlie Rich, Peter Case, Lucinda Williams, Vic Chesnutt, Bobbie Gentry, Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandtâ€¦
I can be heard: Â http://www.trailerstar.bandcamp.com
I aim: To raise funds for charity and to maybe be late and great tooâ€¦but not too soon!
Born in a thunderstorm somewhere in the middle of the Thames Valley sometime before the â€˜50s ended and the â€˜60s started swinging â€˜Trailer Starâ€™ also known as the â€˜Legendary Thames Valley Cowboyâ€™ is a fictional character created by myself, Shaun Belcher, artist, poet and sometime musician.
From the mid-80s, when I painted record sleeves for Creation records and started obsessing over American songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark and Peter Case and Bluesmen like Mississippi John Hurt and Lightning Hopkins, I have written songsâ€¦literally thousands of themâ€¦.
These ended up on a series of cassette only releases with titles like â€˜Last Farmer of Rattledown Rowâ€™ and â€˜Black Riverâ€™ from the mid-80s through to â€˜90s. Finally a limited edition â€˜Floodplain Demosâ€™ CD was released in 2001, which is where the Trailer Star character first appeared. From 1999 until 2004 I edited and designed the online songwriting webzine â€˜Flyinâ€™ Shoes Reviewâ€™ named after the Townes Van Zandt album of the same name which concentrated on solo artists in the folk, Blues and Americana vein.
After a few years playing live in the early 1990s with The High Priests (a messy three piece garage Blues band like an early White Stripes) I realised that others would sing some of these songs better than me and after showing some artistes my archive of songs the charity CD â€˜Moon Over The Downsâ€˜ resulted. Fifteen Americana (US and UK) acts created a tribute to the â€˜star that never wasâ€™. These included Deanna Varagona of Lambchop, Jim Roll, Bob Cheevers, Terry Clarke and Ronny Elliott with interpretations that ranged across folk, Blues and country.
I had cut my fictional â€˜Trailer Starâ€™sâ€™ career abruptly short when his pick-up truck left a blind bend one frosty night on the downs near his trailer but I could not let the story end there and his ghost continues to playâ€¦
Trailer Star lives in his â€˜late greatâ€™ form and I continue to release his collected works on the internet through the official Trailer Star archives at various sites..
Since 2001 I have been a late great country star Trailer Star
which all documented at http://www.trailerstar.co.uk
Trailer also edited and produced an Americana WebzineÂ calledÂ FLYINSHOES REVIEWÂ from 1999-2004 which now in the more than capable hands of Rob Ellen â€˜Oop Northâ€™ ðŸ™‚
Trailer Star wasÂ also the fictional host from the â€˜Trailer Star Loungeâ€™ of an Americana podcast â€˜Flyinshoes Radioâ€™ which cameÂ out roughly every two weeks and can still be downloaded from itunes etc. Again like the webzine I concentrated on songwriting. VisitÂ the ARCHIVEÂ and listen to programmes archived at Archive.Org here
Maybe one day Trailer will feature in his own novel/film but for now thanks for listening and please consider purchasing the â€˜Moon Over The Downsâ€™ tribute as all proceeds go to Cancer Research UK.â€
Shaun Belcher a.k.a. Trailer Star